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The Secrets To Youthful Nutrition
By Tina Richards
While it’s true growing older is inevitable, looking older is not. The reassuring fact is
you do have a great deal of control over how young you look and feel. Many people
assume that along with ageing comes an onslaught of unfortunate consequences–
wrinkles, memory loss, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and other diseases. But in reality,
it’s the lifestyle choices we make that play a fundamental role in how we age.
When it comes to your appearance, up to 80% of the ageing process can boil down to
environmental factors. And the main culprit is inflammation.
Inflammation: The Culprit That Robs Your Skin Of Youth
UV rays, pollution, ozone and cigarette/cigar smoke all cause free radicals (highly
reactive molecules) to be produced in the skin. These free radicals form more free
radicals in the skin and tissues. What is really alarming is that you usually aren’t even
aware they are there.
The reason this happens in your skin is because free radicals damage molecules called
lipids present in your cell membranes. These damaged lipids produce inflammatory
chemicals and a chain reaction begins, leading to inflammation in your skin. Eventually,
the inflammation causes damage to the skin’s cells, collagen and elastin. The results?
Wrinkles and facial sagging.
An Anti-Inflammatory Diet …
High Anti-Oxidants, Low Glycaemic Index
Antioxidants To The Rescue
Little do you realise that in your body there are constant tiny nanosecond explosions
occurring. This “little bang” if you will, is the creation of some rather highly reactive
molecules called free radicals. Imagine tiny pac men that start chain reactions of
inflammation in the body. That’s the dark mission of free radicals – a search and destroy
mission targeting collagen and elastin in the skin and cells, elements that keep you
looking young.
But don’t be alarmed because there is a rescue mission as well. Antioxidants are
molecules that deactivate the free radicals, breaking the chain reaction before free
radicals can do a lot of damage. The good news is that your diet can cool down the
raging fire of inflammation caused by free radicals. Not only will you turn the clock
© 2011 Tina Richards copyright.
back, give your skin a healthy glow and preserve your looks, you’ll also promote a
healthy body.
The Latest Nutrition ‘Buzz’ – Low Glycaemic Index
There’s been a lot of buzz in magazines about ‘low GI diet’. While the low glycaemic
index diet has received tremendous media attention, it’s not hype and fortunately it’s here
to stay. Leading clinical nutritionists (I was fortunate enough to study under one of the
leading authorities in GI research, Dr. Anthony Leeds) have actively researched low GI
diets and have proven that it has many positive medical benefits, such as reducing adultonset diabetes and heart disease.
Although one of the perks of low GI eating is weight loss and a slim body it is above all
anti-inflammatory. High glycaemic foods quickly release sugars into the blood stream
(known as a sugar spike), which normally causes a mirrored spike in insulin release (a
hormone that allows sugar to pass from the blood to the cells). This spike in insulin sets
off a cascade of inflammation in the body.
As you now know, inflammation causes free radicals and free radicals in turn cause more
inflammation. It’s a vicious cycle being played out inside your cells. Low GI foods
break the cycle by slowly releasing sugar into the blood stream, resulting in a slow
release of insulin. The result is very little inflammation.
To sum it up: Increased blood sugar causes a number of chemical reactions in the
body which create inflammation.
Another consequence of a sugar spike is the damaging effects on collagen fibres. When
sugar bonds to collagen, the fibres become stiff and lose their elasticity. To make matters
worse, more free radical generation occurs which leads to even more inflammation. This
all leads to inflexible collagen and wrinkle formation. Another reason to avoid high GI
carbohydrates and refined sugar.
So to recap: To improve and protect our skin we need a low glycaemic, high antioxidant anti-inflammatory diet.
The crucial point to consider is that the outward signs of ageing can be slowed down and
diminished – and most importantly, life can be prolonged – simply by maintaining a
sensible approach to the foods we eat. Luckily, there is a huge selection of readily
available foods, super foods if you will, that are rich in antioxidants. Here’s a list of the
top ten anti-oxidant rich foods.
Your Anti-Ageing Nutritional Arsenal:
The Top Ten Anti-Oxidant Rich Foods
© 2011 Tina Richards copyright.
1. Berries. Red and dark berries including blueberries, blackberries, strawberries,
raspberries, boysenberries, cranberries, black/red cherries, dark red grapes and
pomegranate. High in antioxidants and vitamin C. Blueberries are especially
good for helping to protect skin against the ageing effects of UVA rays that
damage collagen and elastin in the skin which leads to wrinkles.
2. Green Tea. Green tea is very high in polyphenol antioxidants (including gallic
acid) and is also believed to help protect the skin from UVA induced
inflammation and ageing.
3. Turmeric and ginger are high in an antioxidant polyphenol called “curcumin”.
Curcumin is very anti-inflammatory and hence good for calming down
inflammation induced by free radicals. This is one spice to add to your anti
ageing shopping list as it’s great for the skin.
4. Orange, yellow and red fruits and vegetables – high in antioxidant beta
carotene (a member of the ‘carotenoid’ family) which is also a building block for
the antioxidant vitamin A. Excellent super foods here include: red and yellow
bell peppers, cantaloupe melon, tomatoes, carrots, sweet potato, peaches, apricots,
squash, nectarines and red cabbage. Concentrated tomato paste contains high
levels of another carotenoid called lycopene which can, like green tea, help to
boost your natural protection from UV rays – a tablespoon a day in cooking or on
an oat cake is a great natural supplement.
5. Dark leafy greens are also high in the antioxidant beta carotene and other antiageing antioxidant micronutrients including vitamin E and manganese. Good
choices are broccoli, kale, chard, spinach and sweet romaine lettuce.
6. Mangosteen fruit puree is very high in the antioxidant polyphenols called
xanthones. Xanthones are found in abundance in the pericarp or rind, of the
mangosteen fruit so ensure your puree/juice contains the pericarp/rind.
Mangosteen is a tropical fruit which grows on small evergreen
trees in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and southern India.
7. Wild Alaskan sockeye salmon is high in the antioxidant astaxanthin which gives
the natural red colour to sockeye (as opposed to dye in farmed salmon).
Astaxanthin comes from red algae and passes up the marine food chain.
8. Unsalted nuts (walnuts, cashews, almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, Brazil, peanuts and
macadamia nuts) and seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, linseed, sesame seeds) are high
© 2011 Tina Richards copyright.
in antioxidant vitamin E and manganese. Brazil nuts are also high in selenium,
which is essential for the proper function of antioxidant enzymes. Seeds are also
a good source of zinc, which is also essential for the functioning of antioxdiant
enzymes in the body, and they also contain the antioxidant polyphenol called
cinnamic acid. Nuts and seeds are also naturally high in essential fatty acids
which are crucial to healthy skin.
9. Beans. Some beans have even more health-promoting antioxidants than
blueberries. They also are rich in B vitamins and potassium. This category
includes both dried and green beans.
10. Apples. Different varieties of apples have different phytonutrients, but they all
have tons of antioxidants, and it’s mostly in the skin so ensure you don’t peel.
Other very high anti-oxidant foods include:
Kiwi fruit, oranges, walnuts, dark chocolate (70% cocoa varieties e.g. Green & Black's
Dark 70% Chocolate), egg plant, oats, red wine, rosemary, oregano, lemon balm, sage,
marjoram, sweet lime, green peppers, and avocadoes.
Additional Super Foods For Your Nutritional Arsenal
1. Low GI carbs including rough old-fashioned oats, seeds/grains, brown basmati rice.
Oats and seeds are a good source of zinc which is also essential for the functioning of
some antioxidant enzymes in the body. Rough old-fashioned oats also have a very low
glycaemic index or “low GI.”
Carbohydrates which cause fast and high blood-glucose responses are called “high GI”
carbohydrates and cause inflammation and free radicals. Hence high GI carbs are ageing.
Slow and low blood-glucose responses caused by “low GI” carbohydrates such as rough
oats, brown basmati rice and whole grains cause little inflammation and are anti-ageing.
The best anti-ageing bread to eat is brown grainy multi-seeded bread.
2. Dr. Udo’s Ultimate Blend contains an anti-inflammatory optimum ratio (2:1:1) of
essential fatty acids, omega 3, 6 & 9. Take a tablespoon a day. These essential fatty
acids are needed for your cell membranes, plumping up and moisturising your skin and
are anti-inflammatory. Other good sources of essential fats are unsalted nuts, avocados,
olive oil and oily fish – see below ‘Essential Fatty Acids for Smooth Strong Skin
Moisturised From Within’.
3. High quality protein, which is low in fat including, skinned turkey, chicken, egg
whites, fish, soy and low fat natural yoghurt. Quality protein is essential to the
maintenance and repair of the skin and tissues. White meat is high in selenium essential
to the proper function of some antioxidant enzymes, which mop up free radicals in the
body. Avoid red meat and animal fat, as it is inflammatory. Later in this report I devote
© 2011 Tina Richards copyright.
a section to high quality protein because it is so important to your natural anti-ageing
Inflammatory No-no’s
Definite inflammatory ‘No no’s’ include: animal fats (butter, gristle, fat on red meat,
poultry skin) hydrogenated fats and oils (look on the ingredients list), palm oil, white
bread, dough nuts, white bagels, white rice, instant rice, quick cook porridge, quick
cook pasta (wholemeal duram wheat pasta cooked al dente for 5 mins max is okay in
small portions (quarter of the plate)), rice cakes, crisps, sugar, sucrose, fresh orange
juice, potatoes in large portions (a few unpeeled new potatoes or a small baked potato
occasionally is okay), full fat dairy products, red meats, all ready made meals high in
preservatives, and spirits.
Inadequate High Quality Protein Ages Your Skin
And Contributes To Sagging And A Gaunt Tired Look
Did you eat any protein at breakfast today?
(Did you eat breakfast at all?) Was it ‘high quality protein’? No? Not sure? You may be
spending considerable amounts of money on “anti-ageing” creams and treatments and yet
starving your skin cells and your facial muscles of the essential amino acids they need to
sustain a vital and youthful appearance. Inadequate high quality protein ages your skin
and contributes to a sagging and a gaunt tired look.
You see what you eat, and how often, are connected to your facial appearance and how
you age. Women particularly do not consume sufficient amounts of high quality protein
each day, throughout the day, to support youthful facial muscle mass and the optimum
vitality of their skin cells. In short every day they (and perhaps you) are ageing
prematurely. You really are what you eat.
So what is “high quality protein?”
High quality protein includes: fish, chicken, turkey, egg whites and natural yogurt
because these protein sources are rich in essential amino acids, the building blocks of
proteins. Simply put a protein is just various amino acids linked together in a chain.
Proteins are vital for the youthful appearance of your skin; many processes that go inside
skin cells, including repair, depend on proteins. Collagen and elastin production also
depend on proteins.
Protein also affects the condition of your muscles including your facial muscles and so
too affects the volume and shape of your face. We lose facial fat as it is as we age so the
last thing we want is also to lose volume from reduced facial muscles, (which was not so
obvious when we were younger). When you eat insufficient high quality protein, your
© 2011 Tina Richards copyright.
muscle protein starts to break down in order to supply the body with amino acids because
you are not getting enough through your diet.
Inadequate quality protein also leads to reduced cellular vitality and consequently
accelerated ageing skin.
Make it a part of your anti-ageing repertoire to eat 6 to 10 ounces of high quality
protein sources per day spread throughout the day. High quality protein should be
included at breakfast (try an egg white heavy omelette, turkey rashers or wild Alaskan
salmon steak), lunch, dinner and a mid-afternoon and bedtime snack.
‘But Tina.... I’m a vegetarian. How do I get sufficient high quality protein from my
diet - am I doomed?!’
No... you are not doomed, read the section below...
High Quality Protein From A Vegan Or Vegetarian Diet
To Support A Youthful Face
This section is for vegetarians and vegans, however also teaches everyone a bit more
about high quality protein and amino acids.
To discuss the topic of high quality protein for vegetarians we need to delve a bit
deeper into the subjects of protein and essential amino acids…
There are about twenty amino acids which the body uses to make various proteins. Eight
of these amino acids are called ‘essential amino acids’ because they cannot be made by
the human body; they can only be supplied through the diet. The body can synthesise all
the other amino acids.
The eight essential amino acids for humans are: leucine, isoleucine, valine, threonine,
methionine, phenylalanine, tryptophan, and lysine. [Histidine is also considered to be an
essential amino acid for children].
Now, high quality proteins are those dietary proteins containing all the essential
amino acids in the optimum proportions required by the body. Protein that we eat
(called ‘dietary protein’) is broken down during digestion into its constituent amino acids
which are then absorbed by the body and used to make new proteins (e.g. enzymes,
collagen, muscle proteins) for all the body’s biological processes including growth and
repair. If the dietary protein is low in one or more of the essential amino acids then that
dietary protein source is said to be of a lower quality.
Egg protein is considered to have the ideal essential amino acid pattern required for
humans and is usually the ‘gold standard’ against which dietary protein quality is defined.
Animal proteins, including poultry and natural yogurt, tend to be of a higher protein
© 2011 Tina Richards copyright.
quality than plant proteins which are sometimes referred to as ‘low quality proteins’
because they contain a lower quality pattern of essential amino acids. You see many
plant proteins are low in one of the essential amino acids.
However, although pulses tend to be short on methionine and grains short on lysine, for
example, this does not mean that vegetarians or vegans cannot receive adequate amounts
of essential amino acids in their diet. Combining plant proteins throughout the day, such
as by including grains and pulses in the same day’s menu, leads to a summated high
quality protein which can be just as good, if not sometimes better, as animal sourced
Soya, on its own, is a high quality protein which can be considered equivalent to chicken
or turkey protein. Soya is however high in phytoestrogens so I recommend that you do
not consume in excessive amounts but include soya as part of your varied plant-based
diet. Soya in moderation may have health benefits.
So it can actually be easy for you as a vegan or vegetarian to consume all the amino
acids you need for youthful glowing skin and supported facial muscle mass so long
as you make the following a habit:
1. Eat a variety of plant foods on a daily basis
2. Consume enough of these nutrient-dense plant foods per day
3. Avoid refined junk/processed foods which displace nutrients from your diet including
amino acids, because junk foods tend to be nutrient-empty (so they tend to be essentialamino-acid-empty) and also tend to be high in calories (... as well as inflammatory so also
... When you are planning what to eat every day remember these three key points:
nutrient-dense plant foods, variety and enough.
While you are physically active, focus on eating 6 to 10 ounces of protein sources a day,
for example: oatmeal for breakfast with one ounce of walnuts; one cup of beans or two
ounces of tofu or tempeh for lunch together with big salad tossed in olive oil and lemon
juice; one ounce of nuts or a cup of grains (e.g. brown basmati rice, millet, quinoa) and
half a cup of beans included with dinner; two small daily snacks consisting of a little
portion of grains/pulses, a teaspoon of nuts or seeds and a little fresh fruit e.g. half an
apple or a few berries.
It is not necessary to actually eat "complementary" proteins at the same meal (as was
once thought) in order for your body to process them correctly, so you can forget about
protein complementation. The body stores amino acids on a short-term basis, so as long
as different sources of protein are provided throughout the course of the day via a varied
plant-based diet, you will be covered. So vegetarians and vegans eating a well-balanced
diet based on grains, pulses, seeds, nuts and vegetables will be consuming a mixture of
proteins that complement one another naturally without requiring any planning.
© 2011 Tina Richards copyright.
Lacto-ovo vegetarians please include natural yogurt and eggs (particularly egg whites) in
your daily menu. Lacto-vegetarians please include natural yogurt and ovo-veggies please
include eggs.
Essential Fatty Acids for Smooth Strong Skin
Moisturised From Within
I touched on essential fatty acids (EFAs) above when I mentioned unsalted nuts and seeds
and Dr Udo’s blend; the latter being an EFA supplement. EFAs are ‘good fats’ which
you can only get from your diet, hence the word “essential”. They mostly come from
plants but also from oily fish and include the omega family: omega 3, 6 and 9. Examples
of sources of EFAs are: oily fish (organic or pacific derived such as salmon, sardines
or mackerel), flaxseeds (also called linseeds), avocados, olive oil, borage oil, evening
primrose (also called starflower oil), nuts and seeds.
EFAs are amongst other things vital for the stability of your skin cell membranes and
are anti-inflammatory.
EFAs are different from saturated fats which mostly come from animals (not including
fish) and are the fats you do want to avoid. Examples of sources of saturated fat are:
Fat on red meat or underneath the skin of poultry, gristle, butter, lard, full fat cheese and
palm oil. Remember to avoid the saturated fats and to include the good EFAs!
Key Points Recap
The key points to remember for anti-ageing eating-habits are below:
1. Anti-inflammatory is the number one secret to youthful nutrition
2. So choose low GI carbohydrates
3. And eat antioxidants from a rainbow of fresh fruit and vegetables to quench the
fire of free radicals and inflammation that otherwise lead to facial sagging, lines
and wrinkles
4. And essential fatty acids for smoother, supple and more resistant skin (also antiinflammatory)
5. Remember to include high quality protein and spread your intake throughout the
day to supply your skin and facial muscles with youth-boosting essential amino
6. Avoid the inflammatory ‘no no’s’ of refined sugar, high GI carbohydrates and
saturated fats because these are all ageing
7. Also avoid refined sugar and high GI carbohydrates to avoid collagen crosslinking which leads to wrinkles and sagging
© 2011 Tina Richards copyright.
Choosing foods rich in antioxidants and a low glycaemic index should be a daily part of
your anti-ageing regimen. You will reap the benefits of a slimmer body, but more
importantly, the anti-inflammatory aspects will keep you feeling and looking young and
healthy for years to come. At the back of this eBook you will find some anti-ageing
menus and resources to kick-start your journey to a more youthful you.
About Tina Richards
If you didn’t know me before, let me give you a
of who
I am
and industry
what I do...
My name is Tina Richards. I have over
20 introduction
years experience
in the
now 40), have a medical-based degree in Nutrition from Guy’s, Kings and St Thomas’s
is needles')
Tina Richards.
I havestrategies
over 20 that
School of Medicine, and I advise onMy
work, which is my area of expertise. My clientele has ranged from A-List Hollywood
a medical-based
degree world.
in Nutrition from
actors, including Jamie Lee Curtis, tohave
in the medical
Guy’s, Kings and St Thomas’s School of
I advise
on national
natural ('no
I frequently contribute to beauty andMedicine,
in the
TV and
is my
radio and regularly appear on QVC. anti-ageing
In 2008 and strategies
2009 I acted
of expertise.
has journalists
ranged from
for Dove Pro-Age where I provided area
skin healthMy
to beauty
and editors and am a contributing expert
in the
book on
Curtis, to professionals in the medical world.
Hell in High Heels’.
I frequently contribute to beauty and anti-ageing features in the national press, TV and
radio and regularly appear on QVC. I recently acted as Beauty Ambassador for Dove
Pro-Age where I provided generic skin health advice to beauty journalists and editors
and am a contributing expert in the celebrated book on anti-ageing ‘To Hell in High
I have consulted with and worked with thousands of people, just like you, helping
them to overcome ageing obstacles that have held them back from the youthful, firm,
dewy skin (without needles!) and the confidence they’ve always dreamed of. I believe
I can help you too.
Tina Richards
Credentials: Pre-clinical medicine, Nutrition BSc (Hons), CIBTAC, CIDESCO, ITEC.
© 2011 Tina Richards copyright.
What Others Have To Say ….
“Having written a book about ageing I have talked to experts in the field all over the
world. I find Tina's approach refreshingly honest. She is what I personally call a ‘holistic
dermatologist’; someone who looks at ageing not just as a superficial thing you can fix
with an injection, but as something that you need to think about holistically. Having tried
the quick-fix methods I am more and more convinced the key to looking good lies in the
kind of advice Tina gives. She has been an invaluable source for my book, whose opinion
and knowledge I completely trust.
… Tina has the best skin I have seen on anyone that hasn't been airbrushed, and has not
got a single wrinkle.”
Helena Frith-Powell Author (Two Lipsticks & a Lover, Ciao Bella, To Hell in High
Heels) and Journalist: Sunday Times, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail
"As a consultant ophthalmic surgeon who has practiced in the United States for 20 years,
it was incredibly refreshing to listen to skin and anti-ageing
suggestions/recommendations that make sense and have some science back up. In a world
where we search for quick fixes and anecdotal advice, it was wonderful to meet someone
who has a scientific background and uses it to support her claims. Tina Richards is a
unique resource because of this."
Ms Gail Reichert
"It was lovely to have met with Tina at last Thursday's workshop. I was a bit
apprehensive about coming along as I'm 60 and I thought all the other course members
would be younger and I would feel out of place. I could have been more wrong I was
made to feel welcome; the group was mixed and all very friendly. I learned so much
there. I thought my skin time was dry/oily you made it dry and I thing you were correct
I've taken more notice of it since meeting you. I was considering having cosmetic
surgical procedures, I'm not now as I can see a change in my skin, it's more taunt and
looks firmer. Thank you!!"
Maureen Jacks
“Absolutely fabulous – [Tina’s] advice has been "fan"ominal. Particularly as it's done on
such a personal level. I'd advise anyone interested in anti-ageing to attend.”
Jo Steele
© 2011 Tina Richards copyright.
Anti-Ageing Menus
Old fashioned porridge (ie large flake, traditional oats)
To make: one small cup full of oats (use espresso cup size)
With 3 cups of milk (full fat, semi-skimmed or Provamel sweetened soya milk).
Bring to boil in saucepan and then simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring
Add some berries (2 to 3 tablespoons)
Omelette made with 3 egg whites and one yolk
Sliced tomato
½ cup of berries (strawberries/raspberries/blueberries/blackberries)
and/or 2 to 3 inch wedge of cantaloupe or honeydew melon
Omelette made with 3 egg whites and one yolk
One slice of stone-ground whole meal toast
Benecol or Flora Active spread
Sugar free jam/marmalade or marmite if desired
5-6 tablespoons of bio-live yoghurt (Yeo Valley is a good brand) mixed with a
full handful of Kellogg’s All Bran and added berries.
If desired also one slice of stone-ground whole meal toast with Benecol or Flora
Active spread.
Omelette made with 3 egg whites and one yolk
Approx 115g of smoked salmon
(NB only have smoked salmon 1 x a week since it is high in salt)
½ cup of berries (strawberries/raspberries/blueberries/blackberries)
or 2 to 3 inch wedge of cantaloupe or honeydew melon
150g smoked salmon or grilled wild Alaskan salmon
Porridge with handful of berries
Omelette made with 3 egg whites and one yolk
1 slice of bacon or 2 slices of turkey bacon
½ cup of berries (strawberries/raspberries/blueberries/blackberries)
and/or 2 to 3 inch wedge of cantaloupe or honeydew melon
Scrambled eggs on one piece of stone-ground whole meal toast
Benecol or Flora Active spread
Add 1 or 2 slices of smoked salmon if desired
Sliced tomatoes (grilled if desired)
½ cup of berries (strawberries/raspberries/blueberries/blackberries)
© 2011 Tina Richards copyright.
or 2 to 3 inch wedge of cantaloupe or honeydew melon
1 slice of lean bacon or 2 slices of turkey bacon
2 poached egg whites and one yolk
Half portion of porridge (½ espresso cup of porridge whole rolled oats to 1½
cups of milk) with berries.
2 slices of lean bacon, ham or turkey bacon
1 slice of stone-ground whole meal bread
½ teacup of low fat cottage cheese
Handful of blueberries
2 slices of turkey or chicken breast
4 celery sticks or strips of bell pepper
Small handful of unsalted nuts (cashews, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans)
1 hard-boiled egg
3 to 4 celery sticks
3 to 4 red bell pepper strips
Few olives
Approx 60g of sliced roast turkey breast
Small handful of unsalted nuts
2-inch wedge of honeydew/cantaloupe melon or 1 pear or apple or nectarine or ½ teacup
of berries
Approx 60g of wild Alaskan salmon or smoked salmon
2 tablespoons of bean salad
1 hard-boiled egg
½ cup of berries or 2-inch wedge of honeydew/cantaloupe melon
Small handful of unsalted nuts
½ teacup of plain bio-live yoghurt
½ teacup of berries
Small handful of unsalted nuts
2 Highland Oatmeal biscuits
If ‘on the go’ have some fleshy fruit or a small banana.
© 2011 Tina Richards copyright.
115g to 170g broiled turkey burger
Brown wholegrain bun
Lettuce and tomato
½ teacup of bean salad
Fresh fruit and /or low-fat yoghurt
170g of wild Alaskan salmon or other fish
Green salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and 2 tablespoons of chickpeas dressed
with extra virgin cold pressed olive or avocado oil, lemon juice (or white or red wine
vinegar), and garlic if desired. NB: An olive oil or avocado oil dressing can lower the
blood glucose response to the whole meal by up to 30%
1 slice of stone-ground whole meal bread or 3-4 boiled small new potatoes with skins
(knob of Benecol or Flora Active)
Couple of scoops of Ice-cream (premium, French vanilla, 16% fat) with handful of
Take a piece of whole meal brown pita bread, spread it with hummus, top with thinly
sliced lean roast beef and tabbouli and roll up.
Fresh fruit and yoghurt.
170g of grilled wild Alaskan salmon
½ teacup of Sainsbury spicy chickpea and couscous salad with feta or equivalent.
Salad incorporating sweet gem lettuce, sliced red bell pepper, sliced cucumber and
Cherry tomatoes. Dressing – as above (see lunch 2). On top of the salad a few cubes of
Sainsbury Taste the Difference feta cheese with herbs.
2-3 inch wedge of honeydew/cantaloupe melon or berries.
Roast chicken
1 small baked potato
1piece of baked sweet potato
2 scoops of low fat ice-cream (15 or 16% fat)
½ cup of berries or a chopped nectarine/peach
Make a lentil and sweet potato soup by browning an onion with two gloves of crushed
garlic. Add 500g sweet potato chunks, half a cup of split red lentils and 3 ½ cups of
vegetable stock. Simmer for 25 minutes, adding one coarsely grated zucchini after 20
1 slice of stone-ground whole meal bread.
I piece of fresh fruit, a yoghurt or ½ teacup of berries.
Slice a sweet potato into 5 mm thick slices. Cut a courgette in half lengthways and cut a
red onion into 6 segments. Place vegetables in a freezer bag with a glove of crushed
© 2011 Tina Richards copyright.
garlic, add a tablespoon of olive or avocado oil and shake to coat. Remove from freezer
bag and spread out on a baking sheet and roast in hot oven for 20-30 minutes until tender.
Toss the roast vegetables through boiled pasta (cooked al dente, ie for 5 minutes max)
Divide a 200g packet of corn chips (preferably a salt-reduced, low fat one from the health
food section) between four ovenproof plates. Top with a 440g can of Mexican or chiliflavoured kidney beans and sprinkle with grated light mozzarella cheese. Put under a hot
grill for 2 to 3 minutes then top with dollops of mashed avocado.
Take a 100g can of tuna in spring water and a 125g can of cannelini beans. Drain and
combine in a bowl or lunchbox with half a diced cucumber, one diced tomato, a handful
of baby spinach (or other greens) and chopped parsley. Dress with an equal mix of olive
oil and lemon juice and a sprinkle of black pepper.
Spread a slice of multi-grain bread or stone-ground whole meal bread with wholegrain
mustard. Top with chopped semi-dried tomatoes, char-grilled aubergine, and a slice of
mozzarella cheese. Melt the cheese under a grill then add salad greens and another slice
of bread. Cut in half and serve.
Try canned salmon, thinly sliced green apple and red onion with mange tout on slice of
multigrain or stone-ground whole meal bread.
Sauté 2 sliced shallots with a teaspoon each of crushed garlic and ginger until aromatic.
Add 2 to 3 sliced mushrooms, one teaspoon of minced chili, one tablespoon of soy sauce
and one teaspoon sesame oil and cook until the mushrooms soften. Add 250 ml
vegetable stock, bring to the boil, then stir in a packet of udon noodles, diced cooked
chicken or tofu and a handful of shredded spinach.
Cook half a cup of split red lentils in boiling water until tender (about 10 minutes).
Drain. When cool, mash with 2 tablespoons mayonnaise, 2 chopped shallots and a clove
of crushed garlic. Season with black pepper. Use on your multi-grain bread or stoneground whole meal bread as a sandwich filling with salad greens.
Make a vegetarian chickpea burger by combining a can of drained chickpeas with fresh
whole meal breadcrumbs, parsley, garlic and an egg in a food processor. Shape into
burgers and pan fry. Serve with char-grilled vegetables (e.g. broccoli, peppers) on a
brown seedy whole meal bun.
*If you are making your own bread, substitute about 50% of the flour with whole or
cracked grains such as kibbled wheat, barley flakes, oat bran, linseeds (may have to buy
from health food shop).
A note about wine: Although red wine contains anti-oxidants, no more than 100-200ml in one
© 2011 Tina Richards copyright.
Basic preparation of white poultry:
Use a little extra virgin olive oil in a non-stick pan. Sauté whole, sliced or diced skinless,
boneless chicken or turkey breasts [120g (4 oz) per person], until no longer pink inside.
Cooked poultry breasts can be used in many ways with various different herbs and spices
and vegetables to enhance the flavour.
Italian Chicken:
Sauté 150g (5oz) sliced mushrooms, one onion and 250ml (8 fl oz) chopped canned
tomatoes with a little water to avoid sticking.
Season with garlic, oregano and basil (fresh or dried) and simmer vegetables for 5
Add chicken or turkey, simmer for 2 minutes and serve with additional green vegetables
and salad.
Basic preparation of fish:
Virtually any fish is suitable, but never use breaded or battered versions. For salmon
select wild varieties such as wild Alaskan, wild sockeye, wild Pacific.
Place 120-150g (4-5oz) fish fillets per person in microwaveable dish.
Sprinkle fish with 1-2 tsp lemon juice and pepper.
Cover with plastic wrap, but fold back one corner to allow steam to escape.
Microwave for 4-5 minutes and serve.
Fish Ideas:
Sprinkle fish with fresh or dried herbs such as dill, parsley, basil and tarragon.
Cook fish on a bed of leeks and onions.
Sprinkle fish with a mix of whole wheat bread crumbs and parsley (1tbsp per fillet) plus I
tsp melted light non-hydrogenated margarine.
Serve fish with:
Green beans sprinkled with almonds or mushrooms, rice and salad.
Basmati rice. You can stir some vegetables into this rice during the last minute of
cooking. Limit serving size of rice to a quarter of your plate – 50g dry weight.
© 2011 Tina Richards copyright.
Soft layers of spinach, cheese and lasagne with a luscious vegetable sauce.
1 bunch English spinach, washed and stalks removed
200g packet instant lasagne sheets
2 tablespoons (20g) grated Parmesan cheese or low-fat cheddar cheese
Vegetable sauce
2 teaspoons oil
2 medium onions (240g), chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed or 2 teaspoons minced garlic
250g mushrooms, sliced
1 small green capsicum (100g) chopped
140g tub tomato paste
1 440g can mixed beans, rinsed and drained
1 440g can tomatoes, undrained and mashed
1 teaspoon mixed herbs
Cheese sauce
20g poly or monounsaturated margarine
1 tablespoon plain flour
1.5 cups (375ml) low-fat milk
1/2 cup (60g) grated low-fat cheese
A pinch of ground nutmeg and freshly ground black pepper
1. Blanch or lightly steam the spinach until just wilted; drain well.
2. For the vegetable sauce, heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan. Add the onions and
garlic and cook for about 5 minutes or until soft. Add the mushrooms and
capsicum and cook a further 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the tomato
paste, beans, tomatoes and herbs. Bring to a boil and simmer, partly covered, for
15 to 20 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, for the cheese sauce, melt the margarine in a saucepan or a
microwave bowl. Stir in the flour and cook 1 minute, stirring (for 30 seconds on
High, in microwave). Remove from the heat. Gradually add the milk, stirring until
smooth. Stir over medium heat until the sauce boils and thickens, or in microwave
on High until boiling, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat, stir in the
cheese, nutmeg and pepper.
4. To assemble, pour half the vegetable sauce over the base of a lasagne dish,
rectangular slab pan or ovenproof dish (about 16cm x 28cm). Cover with a layer
© 2011 Tina Richards copyright.
of lasagne sheets, then half the spinach. Spread a thin layer of cheese sauce over
the spinach. Top with the remaining vegetable sauce and remaining spinach. Place
over a layer of lasagne sheets and finish with the remaining cheese sauce.
Sprinkle with Parmesan or cheddar cheese.
5. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in a moderate oven (180C) for 40 minutes.
Remove foil and bake for a further 30 minutes or until the top is beginning to
*Dipping the lasagne sheets briefly in hot water before use helps to soften them prior to
Per serve:
44g carbohydrate
10g fat
9g fibre
A satisfying soup that makes a meal in itself.
1 tablespoon oil
1 large onion (150g), finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed, or 2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon minced chili
6 cups (1.5 litres) water
1.5 cups (375ml) prepared chicken stock
1 cup (200g) red lentils
1/2 cup (100g) pearl barley
1 425g can tomatoes, undrained and mashed
freshly ground black pepper
chopped fresh parsley or coriander to serve
1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion, cover and cook gently for about
10 minutes or until beginning to brown, stirring frequently.
2. Add the garlic, turmeric, curry powder, cumin and chili and cook, stirring, for 1
© 2011 Tina Richards copyright.
3. Stir in the water, stock, lentils, barley, tomatoes, and salt and pepper to taste.
Bring to a boil, cover and simmer about 45 minutes or until the lentils and barley
are tender.
4. Serve sprinkled with parsley or coriander.
Per serve:
25g carbohydrate
5g fat
5g fibre
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Serves 4 to 6
375g of linguine or pasta of choice
400g of salmon fillets
500g asparagus, trimmed, chopped coarsely
1/3 cup finely grated lemon rind
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 cup of coarsely chopped fresh flat - leaf parsley
1/2 cup (125ml) lemon juice
8 green onions, sliced thinly
1 tbsp of olive oil
1. Cook pasta in large saucepan of boiling water until just tender, drain. Place in a
large bowl cover to keep warm.
2. Meanwhile cook salmon fillets on heated lightly oiled grill plate (or grill or
barbecue) until browned (cooked as desired) and flake (remove bones).
3. Boil or steam or microwave asparagus until tender and drain.
4. Combine remaining ingredients in small bowl, pour over pasta and add salmon
and asparagus, toss gently to combine.
© 2011 Tina Richards copyright.
Grilled Chicken With Barley Pilaf
From The Australian Women's Weekly Cookbook: Low-Fat Food For Life For People
with Diabetes, A Heart Condition or Who Simply Want to be Healthy.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 55 minutes
Serves 4
1 cup (215g) pearl barley
2 cups (500ml) of water
2 cups (500ml) chicken stock
250g cherry tomatoes
150g yellow teardrop tomatoes
4 single chicken breast fillets (680g)
1/2 tsp of coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
2 green onions, sliced thinly
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1. Preheat oven to hot.
2. Cook barley with the water and stock in medium saucepan, uncovered, over low
heat, about 50minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally.
3. Meanwhile, roast tomatoes in hot oven on baking- paper lined oven tray
uncovered, about 20 minutes or until just browned and softened.
Grilled Pesto Salmon with Asparagus
Using a little bit of store bought pesto adds lots of flavour to your food. Here it is
combined with mayonnaise to form a decadent but light crust for salmon. To round out
your meal serve with basmati or long grain rice and a tossed green salad.
50grm/2oz light mayonnaise
2 tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 tbsp pesto
Pinch each salt and pepper
4 boneless salmon fillets, skin on
Grilled Asparagus:
500 grm asparagus spears
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
¼ tsp pepper
2 tbsp lemon juice
¼ tsp salt
© 2011 Tina Richards copyright.
In small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, parsley, pesto, pepper and salt. Spread evenly
over top of salmon. Place fillets on greased grill over medium-high heat. Close lid and
cook for 10 minutes or until fish is firm to the touch.
Grilled Asparagus: Snap tough ends of asparagus off and discard. Toss spears with oil
and pepper. Place on greased grill with salmon for 10 minutes or until browned and
tender crisp. Remove to plate and drizzle with lemon juice and sprinkle with salt.
Serve salmon with asparagus.
Makes 4 servings.
Fish Options: This mixture is delicious on halibut, marlin, tuna or trout.
The skin left on the fillets is helpful because as it crisps up the fish stays moist and the
fish doesn't fall apart.
French Onion Pork Tenderloin Medallions
The rich taste of French onion soup is transformed into an easy sauce to serve with pork
1 pork tenderloin (about 450g/16oz)
2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary or 1/2 tsp dried
1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
2 tsp vegetable oil
2 large onions, thinly sliced
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
350ml(12fl oz) beef stock
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1. Using chef’s knife trim all fat from the tenderloin. Cut tenderloin into 2.5cm(1in)
medallions and sprinkle with rosemary and half each of the salt and pepper.
2. In large non-stick frying pan heat half of the oil over medium high heat and brown
pork in batches if necessary. Remove to plate.
3. Return frying pan to heat and add remaining oil. Cook onions, stirring for about 8
minutes or until beginning to turn golden. Reduce heat to medium and cook,
stirring for about 10 minutes or until very soft and golden. Add red pepper and
garlic and cook for 2 minutes.
© 2011 Tina Richards copyright.
4. Add stock and Worcestershire sauce and remaining salt and pepper. Bring to boil
and boil for 5 minutes or until reduced by half. Return pork to frying pan and turn
to coat in sauce for about 2 minutes or until hint of pink remains in pork.
Makes 3 servings.
Chicken Jambalaya
This is a traditional Cajun dish in which rice is used to sop up the rich juices of the stew.
2 tsp rapeseed oil
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 green bell peppers, seeded and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
450g (1 lb) boneless skinless chicken, cut into ½ inch cubes
2 tsp each dried thyme leaves and oregano
1 tsp chili powder
¼ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
500ml (1 pint) chicken stock (low fat, low sodium)
2 cans (2x400g) stewed tomatoes
1 can (1x410) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
170g (6oz) brown rice
1 bay leaf
6g (1/4oz) chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook celery, garlic and onion for
about 5 minutes or until softened. Add chicken, thyme, oregano, chili powder and
cayenne; cook stirring for 5 minutes.
2. Add chicken broth, green bell peppers, tomatoes, kidney beans, rice and bay leaf;
bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally for
about 20 minutes or until rice is tender. Let stand 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaf
and discard. Stir in parsley before serving.
Makes 4 servings.
Turkey Option: You can use boneless skinless turkey for the chicken.
Seafood Addition: Add 240g (8 oz) of small raw prawns, peeled and deveined during the
last 10 minutes of cooking.
© 2011 Tina Richards copyright.
Chicken Fried Rice
Chinese fried rice is generally high in fat and low in protein and fibre. This low- GI
version is loaded with chicken and colourful vegetables and won't leave you feeling
hungry again soon after eating it.
350 mls (12 fl.oz) chicken stock (low fat, low sodium)
40 g (1½ oz) brown rice
Pinch salt
1 tsp sesame oil
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, chopped
225 g (8 oz) sliced mushrooms
1 green onion, chopped
1 carrot, diced
2 sticks sliced celery
150 g (51/2 oz) cooked chickpeas
50 mls (2 fl.oz) light soy sauce
225 g (8 oz) bean sprouts
1. In saucepan, bring to 275 mls (10 fl.oz) of the chicken stock, rice and salt to boil.
Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 25 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
Fluff with fork and set aside.
2. In large non-stick skillet heat sesame oil over medium high heat and cook chicken
and mushrooms for about 8 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Add green
onions, carrot, celery, chickpeas and cooked rice. Cook, stirring for 2 minutes, to
3. Add remaining chicken stock and soy sauce and cook for 5 minutes. Add bean
sprouts and toss to combine.
Makes 4 servings.
Quick & Easy Mexican Bean Dish
1 Onion chopped
1 Hot Red Pepper chopped
1 can- 19fl.oz/540ml- of 3 or 4 bean mix - or beans of your choice, rinse and drain
1 can- 19fl.oz/540ml- of Lentils - rinse and drain
1 can- 28fl.oz/796ml- of crushed tomatoes
1 can- 12fl.oz/340ml- of corn or equivalent
½ a red and green pepper
1 cup of stock (low sodium)
Spices of your choice - Cumin, Chili, Coriander, Oregano etc
© 2011 Tina Richards copyright.
1. Brown onion in small amount of oil or cooking spray. Add beans, tomatoes,
lentils, corn, peppers and cook on high heat for ten minutes. Add stock and spices,
2. Stir over high for about 10 minutes, then bring heat down to low and leave to
simmer for around twenty minutes - or until beans and lentils are soft. Stir
3. Serve with basmati rice and salad.
Makes at least 6 servings.
See GI database is excellent for checking low GI options:
Just put in a food e.g. “pasta” in the food field and then “<55” in the GI field, click the
search button to find low GI types of that food.
Another good site is
Great books for meal planning (and from which some of the recipes were taken) are:
The New Glucose Revolution by Dr Anthony Leeds, Professor Jennie Brand-Miller,
Kaye Foster-Powell and Dr Stephen Colagiuri, published by Hodder and available
in major bookshops nationwide.
The Low GI Diet Cookbook: 100 Simple, Delicious Smart-Carb Recipes-The Proven
Way to Lose Weight and Eat for Lifelong Health by Jennie Brand-Miller, Kaye
Foster-Powell, Joanna McMillan-Price.
The Everything Glycemic Index Cookbook: 300 Appetizing Recipes to Keep Your
Weight Down And Your Energy Up! By Nancy T Maar.
Low GI Cookbook: Over 80 Delicious Recipes to Help You Lose Weight and Gain
Health (Paperback) by Louise Blair.
The Good Carb Cookbook by Sandra Woodruff.
For a list of books go to:
More great low GI recipes at:
© 2011 Tina Richards copyright.
To a more youthful you!
© 2011 Tina Richards copyright.